Creative solution for rewards flight needed - Syd/London/NY

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by Pollywaffle, Dec 25, 2006.

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  1. Pollywaffle

    Pollywaffle Active Member

    Dec 25, 2006
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    Hi all.

    First time poster, long time lurker. This site is great – I’ve picked up plenty of tips, but now I need help from the gurus.

    I’m trying to book a QFF award flight for Sydney/London/New York/Sydney starting in Sep 07. I will be in Europe for approx 5 weeks before flying to NY for a week and then heading home. I will be doing a hiking trip in Slovenia, so the dates I can fly are not entriely flexible. I’ve got approx 170K points to play with and another 20K in other award programs that I could transfer over.

    Unfortunately, the QFF site is not co-operating. I have tried moving dates, changing departure cities (Melb and Bris instead of Syd), changing arrival cities (Paris instead of London) and even trying to do the trip in the opposite direction (ie. Sydney/NY/London/Sydney).

    Is there anything else I can do? Have I missed something? Should I try another combination? Should I give QFF a call (I know they charge points for this)? Will more award flights become available? Or, am I dreaming of the impossible? **sigh**

    Thanks in advance for the advice (or sympathy)

    PW :)
     

  2. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    As a QF Gold I have been able to map out a simple itinerary on the award boking engine requiring 140,000 points, which is the OneWorld award with maximum 5 stops and <35,000 miles. So some seats are still available in September for SYD-LHR.

    What is your status? If you phone QF and organise the booking it would only cost an extra 2,500 points for the assisted booking fee.

    Sydney to Heathrow Economy class

    QF63 SYD-JNB 05 Sep 10:05-16:10
    BA54 JNB-LHR 05 Sep 21:15-06 Sep 07:20

    Heathrow to JFK-New York Economy class

    AA115 LHR-JFK 10 Oct 08:30-11:00

    JFK-New York to Sydney Economy class

    AA177 JFK-SFO 17 Oct 17:45-21:00
    QF74 SFO-SYD 17 Oct 22:40-19 Oct 06:15
     
  3. Flashback

    Flashback Senior Member

    Oct 29, 2006
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    Is that a RTW award? Or just done by multi-city? If RTW, how do you select it?
     
  4. serfty

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    #4 serfty, Dec 25, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2006
    Select the Multi-Destination option; as soon as you have your second non QF carrier it automatically becomes a round trip oneWORLD itinerary.
     
  5. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Pollywaffle, welcome to AFF.

    JohnK has indicated that a routing may be possible. However as a Gold, one gets access to a greater range of WHY seats. (As does WP & CL).

    To get a better answer you need to provide a bit more information. Firstly, the core dates of your travel especially that of your hiking trip in Slovenia is important. Your QFF status level would be useful as well.
     
  6. parsonstrish

    parsonstrish Active Member

    Sep 23, 2005
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    I was assisted recently through this site for in redeeming my 140,000 pts. for award flight. I too was leaving in Sept. I monitored it almost daily as due to the AA US carrier I had to wait a bit later to book in US. I was hard put finding any x (silver, below) seats available. Two wks. ago I managed one going bne-melb-hkg-lhr for first part of trip. I too was flexible if required in seats, it seemed the problem was hardly any x award seats left. There were more gold and above award seats. I used expertflyer to look at diff. dates and routing, but in the end used phone booking. I was happy that I did for I couldn't find what the person found, but mind you I'm still very new at all this.
    Good luck
     
  7. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

    Oct 18, 2005
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    I booked a RTW award trip online a few months ago. It was reasonably painless, but it took some time before I found a routing that would work (CBR-QF-MEL-CX-HKG-CX-FRA-BA-LCY, BHX-BA-GLA-BA-LHR-AA-JFK-AA-NAR-QF-SYD-QF-CBR), only the one stop in London, though I managed a quick pre-dawn tour of Manhattan on 4 July.

    I doubt that I'll ever go RTW again without passing through Hong Kong, simply for the pleasure of relaxing in one of Cathay Pacific's two lounges. BA in Frankfurt was hard to find and barely worth the effort. Ten minutes in Glasgow and not much longer in Heathrow, but I made it, even if my luggage didn't catch up until Canberra.

    140 000 points and the website stopped counting once it worked out it was a oneWorld ticket.

    However, I think that if you ring up and pay the 2 500 points, the staff will be able to find you more seats and flights than the online DIY version, and possibly it will be a bit cheaper in points.
     
  8. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    My experience is that the staff have the same access as I have from the online booking engine. The difference is that they have access to some (AA) legs to locations that don't show in the online booking engine. (it was/is worth the 2500 points on a lot of occasions) ;)
     
  9. Pollywaffle

    Pollywaffle Active Member

    Dec 25, 2006
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    Thanks for the help everyone.

    I ended up booking a flight today - starting with the Sydney-Johannesburg-London option. Flying from London to NY and NY to Sydney was no probelm - the were plenty of award flights available.

    I'm curious about 2 things, though:
    1. When using the Qantas award flight search engine, I used the 'next day' and 'previous day' options when I had no luck for a chosen date. This did not bring up the Syd-J'Burg-Ldn option. It only appeared when I started my search with that particular date (ie. 5 Sep). I only have bronze FF membership, by the way.
    2. I tried to book the London-NY flight as a business class seat, but that flight plus the other 2 economy legs was asking for 280k points. Can someone explain why this happens?

    Overall, I'm happy with what I got.

    Thanks again! PW.
     
  10. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    I found the same thing last night, when looking at HNL-SYD award flights (as a QFF Gold). I'd say it's a bug.

    Cheers,
    - Febs.
     
  11. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    I've seen this as well. Also the option where you can search the next seven days sometimes returns nothing, whereas if I step through the dates I will sometimes find some.
     
  12. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

    Oct 18, 2005
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    I've noticed the same thing about seat availability when checking next and previous days. Weird, though maybe it has something to do with time zones.

    If you book any leg of the trip as Business, the whole lot gets charged at the higher rate. It's in the rules somewhere. (They were recently posted as part of a similar thread.)
     
  13. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    I found a new wrinkle in the online booking engine the other day. For a while the destination pull-down did not include AKL! Someone must have been tinkering with it since a little later AKL was again in the destination list.
     
  14. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    From the Qantas Frequent Flyer Terms and Conditions:
    So by including a Business Class segment in the booking you get charged the 280,000 business class fee for the whole itinerary.
     
  15. lovetravellingoz

    lovetravellingoz Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2006
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    #15 lovetravellingoz, Dec 31, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
    So does this mean that a oneWorld ticket is one of the best value ways to burn points fora flight ticket? (I am ignoring upgrades....and am specifically asking about optimising points spent for ticket value gained in terms of $ that it would cost otherwise.)

    Another question....If with the phone assist they cannot actually find a suitable ticket for you do they still charge the 2500 point fee...or is only charged for successful bookings?
     
  16. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

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    Considering that if you did the whole trip on Qantas (or fewer than three oneWorld partners) it would cost you something like half again as many points, then yes, it's reasonably good value.

    Not sure about the 2 500 points, but my guess is that they wouldn't charge it if they didn't complete the booking. I'd say it's good value if they can find you the best available flights. The flights I found worked, but involved some tight connections, and indirectly resulted in my baggage not arriving at the same time as I did.
     
  17. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    Wouldn't you then be better off booking the business class segment separately to all other segments? Provided you're booking online, there aren't any additional costs, just a little more time and patience required.

    Cheers,
    - Febs.

    PS: I'd also be interested to know if the 2,500pt assisted booking fee only gets charged if you actually make a successful booking. Also - is there likely to be more availabilty for a QFF Gold when using the assisted booking service?
     
  18. straitman

    Moderator

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    From my limited experience the 2,500 points is only charged at ticketing.

    I recently worked with QF for several weeks tweaking an ATW Bus FF points booking and the 2,500 points was debited at the same time as the 280,000 points and the fuel fines.
     
  19. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    For a Qantas/Partner award then, Absolutely, since the change in travel class triggers a new "TRIP" anyway.

    However, for a oneWORLD award you need to balance this against the generally fewer points required for the booking. This would vary from case to case and careful analysis is needed.

    The reality is that mixed class of travel in a oneWORLD booking is to be avoided if possible.
     
  20. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    From the QFF T&C: 13. Redeeming Points for Award Flights
     
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